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Manufacturers Want To Dispel Job Stereotypes

Chittenden County manufacturers will gather this week to talk about the challenges of finding qualified workers. 

One participant in the Vermont Manufacturers Summit believes part of the solution lies in getting the message out about the kinds of jobs manufacturers offer.

Tammy Buschell is Human Resources Manager at the Edlund Company in Burlington, which makes commercial kitchen appliances.

If you think a job there requires a post-secondary education and a strong computer and engineering background, you might be surprised that only entry-level skills are needed to get the job.

“They need to have at least basic computer skills, basic math and basic English; read write, understand basic easy to understand drawings,” says Bushell.

Add an ability to show up on time and communicate with fellow employees, and you’ve got an ideal candidate according to Bushell. The company will provide the technical training.

She says manufacturers need to convince prospective employees that their jobs aren’t about mindless assembly line work in a dirty, noisy environment.

She’ll join other Burlington area manufacturers for the summit Wednesday in Burlington, sponsored by the Lake Champlain Regional Chamber of Commerce.

Steve has been with VPR since 1994, first serving as host of VPR’s public affairs program and then as a reporter, based in Central Vermont. Many VPR listeners recognize Steve for his special reports from Iran, providing a glimpse of this country that is usually hidden from the rest of the world. Prior to working with VPR, Steve served as program director for WNCS for 17 years, and also worked as news director for WCVR in Randolph. A graduate of Northern Arizona University, Steve also worked for stations in Phoenix and Tucson before moving to Vermont in 1972. Steve has been honored multiple times with national and regional Edward R. Murrow Awards for his VPR reporting, including a 2011 win for best documentary for his report, Afghanistan's Other War.
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